“for people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy…” [2 timothy 3:2]

selfishness is no small thing. paul keeps going. to simply say people will be lovers of self is not enough to cover the extent of selfishness that takes over. though lovers of self sounds as if it is the dictionary.com definition of of selfishness, it truly acts as the umbrella over all that follow.

lovers of money, those who put money on the highest pedestal have never chosen to love money for other people.

“you cannot serve God and money” [luke 16:13].

“for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” [1 tim 6:10].

in the nkj version, the translators used the word covetous instead of lovers of money. this word covers the heart of the love of money, the idea of greed drives the soul, the need to have it all overtakes.

“you covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. you do not have, because you do not ask. you ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” [jam 4:2]

proud, arrogant, boastful, the one who puffs himself up. the one who is so focused on only glorifying himself.

“God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” [1 cor 1:28]

abusive, slanderous, reproachful, the one who never admits wrongs.

disobedient to parents, though our parents used it freely, “honor your father and mother,” was one of the original ten commandments and Jesus repeated it multiple times [ex 20:12].

ungrateful. how many times does God remind us to be thankful? it was not because he needed the reminder.

unholy. holiness is the thing we can partake in as followers of Jesus, yet selfishness pulls us to not be set apart, rather to be a part of this fallen world. holiness is to be set apart for God, to be exclusively his.

this list is heavy, it is harrowing, but paul’s goal is to not discourage but rather to encourage his brother timothy. God tells us what not to do. And that is his love, his way of drawing us into his presence. by his grace and mercy he invites us into his presence through growth. so take heart, because you have a father who wants you to know how to follow him, and he wants you to live for him. live a life continually in his presence, looking forward to the hope that we have in him, that one day we will see him face to face and be with him forever.

and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” and he who was seated on the throne said, “behold, I am making all things new.” [revelation 21:3-5] 

~ josiah bridges